Is he laying the patio right?


Old 04-27-04, 11:02 AM
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Question Is he laying the patio right?

Hi! Can you help?

I have hired a retired chap to lay my new patio. He is the husband of a work colleague and claims to know his stuff.

I have bought nice slabs with bevelled edges and the slabs are to replace old pressed ones.

He seems to just be laying them on a sand mixture with some cement mixed in and compacting this manually. He says as I am not driving on the patio he doesn't need to lay them on proper cement. He was going to sweep in a sand and cement mixture into the gaps and said this would go off when it rains but now wants to point the gaps with cement which I think will look ugly and defeat the point of the nice bevelled edges. However I can understand how the gaps would fill up with soil and weeds.

I have been looking on the net and am not confident that I won't be faced with wobbly slabs a year down the line. It is a bit awkward as I don't want to offend him but I also want a job well done.

Any comments would be very welcome.

Thank you


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Old 04-28-04, 09:46 PM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
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I am sorry to hear about your situation. It makes it awkward but doing things right is more important. Here is an example of what steps should be done when laying stone over sand/gravel base.

Stone should be at least a minimum 1 1/2 thick.

You will need to dig out the area approximately 6 inches below you final grade to allow for gravel, sand, and stone.

Lay out containment (edging) for the area to be paved. You can use stone, vinyl edging, or treated lumber.

Lay out 3 to 4 inches of crushed gravel. Most commonly you should use 5/8 -minus, but when there are drainage concerns use 1 1/4 - minus.

Compact the gravel by tamping or vibrating the surface either manually or mechanically.

Lay out 1 to 2 inches of sand.

If your stone is uniform thickness: screed out the sand and install your stone in the pattern you have chosen.
If your stone is various thickness: Lay out your stone. Level each piece as you go. Level by adding or removing sand under the piece or side that needs leveling.

Fill the gaps or joints with sand or "stone dust" and sweep into the joints. You will need to repeat after a couple days. Bear in mind that you may have to do this every couple of years just to maintain a good clean look. It's easy to do. Sealing the stone can be done to maintain the appearance. I suggest a penetrating sealer.

It is not suggested to use cement grouting techniques if you are in a cold climate. This will be forever cracking and breaking out. Concerned about weeds, use a good weed killer.

Hope this helps!
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